Now St. Patrick left the poets all their rights of divination by wisdom, and all their ancient rights over story-telling with the music of the harp, three hundred and fifty stories being allowed to the chief poet. He also secured just judgments for their professional rights: so that if land was mentioned in their songs as having been walled and trenched by them, that was considered to be sufficient legal evidence of title to the soil.
But what they received of St. Patrick was better, he affirmed, than all the evil rites to devils which they had abandoned; along with the profane practice of magic by the two palms, called lmbas for Osna, by which lucid vision amid the spirit of prophecy was supposed to come on them after invocations to idols and demons--all of which evil practices St. Patrick abolished, but left to the poets the skilled hand in music and the fluent tongue in recitation; for which none can equal time Bards of Ireland throughout all the world.
The ogham writing on the poet's staff is mentioned in very old manuscripts as in use in the Pagan period, before St. Patrick's time, though no specimen of ogham writing has yet been found of earlier date than the Christian era.
St. Patrick introduced Latin and the Latin letters, which superseded ogham. And after his time Latin was taught very generally in the Irish schools.
St. Patrick also confirmed as right and proper for observance, whatever was just in the Brehon laws, so as it was not at variance with the law of Christ, for the people had been guided by the Brehon laws from all antiquity, and it was not easy to overthrow them. Besides, many or most of them were framed with strict regard to justice and morality.
When St. Patrick was dying, an angel of time Lord was sent to him, who announced to the great and holy saint that God had granted this favour to his prayers--namely, that his jurisdiction over the Church was ordained to be for ever at Armagh; and that Patrick, as the Apostle of Ireland, should be the judge of all the Irish at the last day, and none other, according to the promise made to the other apostles, "Ye shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the tribes of Israel."